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Sleep apnoea tied to depressive disorders in children

23 Jul 2017

Children with sleep apnoea have significantly higher risks of developing depressive disorders than those without the sleep disorder, a new retrospective cohort study reveals.

Over a mean follow-up duration of 5.87 years, the rate of depressive disorders in the sleep apnoea group (n=567; 2.46 percent) was significantly higher than in the control group (n=5,670; 1.11 percent; p<0.001).

Consequently, the incidence of depressive disorder in the sleep apnoea group (181.0 per 1,000 person-years) was also significantly higher than in the control group (169.0 per 1,000 person-years; p<0.001). The risk of depressive disorders was significantly higher in the sleep apnoea group (p<0.001).

Subsequent multivariate analysis revealed a significant association between sleep apnoea and depressive disorders (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.25; 95 percent CI, 1.25 to 4.05; p=0.006).

Males with sleep apnoea (aHR, 3.77; 1.82 to 7.54; p<0.001) and children above the age of 12 years (HR, 7.1833; 2.3734 to 21.7411; p=0.0004) also had significantly higher risks of depressive disorders.

The study included paediatric patients newly diagnosed with sleep apnoea between 1999 to 2013. A sex-, age- and index year-matched healthy control group was established at a ratio of 1:10. Prospective participants with depressive symptoms prior to enrolment were excluded. The occurrence of at least one depressive symptom was the primary outcome of the study.

Because of matching, no significant differences were observed in baseline demographic factors between the sleep apnoea (mean age 9.70±4.21 years; 67.19 percent male) and control (mean age 9.70±4.20 years; 67.20 percent male) groups.

The most common coexisting disease was asthma, with incidence rates of 26.63 and 18.85 percent in the sleep apnoea and control groups, respectively. This was followed by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, with corresponding incidence rates of 8.99 and 3.12 percent.

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Audrey Abella, 16 Feb 2017
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